17 June 2021
The National Institute of Informatics (NII) in Japan has selected OCLC to replace NII's current library metadata infrastructure. OCLC will provide a cataloging environment for more than 1,300 libraries in Japan with a union catalog that replaces the existing system, NACSIS-CAT/ILL.
The NACSIS-CAT/ILL, launched in 1985, has been widely used among Japanese university libraries and other institutions, bringing together 13 million bibliographic records and 147 million holdings records. A versatile metadata platform developed by OCLC will serve as the foundation for the new NACSIS-CAT/ILL system.
The project has begun with the start of a two-year implementation period and the system is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of 2023. OCLC will enable the new system to accommodate multiple metadata types, including MARC21 and CAT-P, a unique format used in Japan, which will pave the way to exchange metadata with international communities. The new system will also facilitate the import and export of data for a new interlibrary loan service in Japan.
"As globalization and digitization of science information accelerates, it is important that NII's metadata service modernizes to better serve Japanese library communities and their patrons," said Professor Kento Aida, who oversees this project for the Information Systems Architecture Science Research Division at NII. "We are confident that the new system will greatly enhance discovery and access."
Kinokuniya Company, OCLC's distributing partner in Japan, is working closely with OCLC and NII to move this project forward.
"OCLC is honored to work with NII to create a new, modern cataloging infrastructure that will be able to accommodate different and emerging forms of metadata," said Skip Prichard, OCLC President and CEO. "We have been at the forefront of library metadata initiatives for over 50 years. This project will make it possible for these 1,300 libraries to easily share knowledge within Japan, and with the rest of the world. We are delighted to partner with NII on this critically important project."
The cataloging project comes at a critical time in the evolution of metadata systems. Last year, OCLC Research published Transitioning to the Next Generation of Metadata, which traced how metadata services are transitioning into the "next generation of metadata." Opening Japanese library collections through this new cataloging infrastructure will present more opportunities for cooperation on a global scale.